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Accessible Transportation Standard Regulation

The Accessible Transportation Standard Regulation addresses aspects to accessible public transportation, including access to transportation required for going to work or school, shopping and other aspects of daily life.

This standard is the fourth standard to be enacted under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act. The objective of the standard is to help conventional and paratransit service providers, schools, vehicles-for-hire and municipalities create a system of transportation that is more inclusive for all Manitobans, regardless of abilities.

The Accessible Transportation Standard includes measures related to training, policy development, equipment, vehicle design and operating matters such as fares, hours of service and routes.

Under the Accessible Transportation Standard, the following organizations will be required to adhere to basic accessibility standards with respect to transportation:

  • conventional transportation providers
  • paratransit providers
  • schools
  • vehicles-for-hire
  • municipalities

Requirements for Conventional and Paratransit Service Providers

Conventional and Paratransit service providers are required to:

  • establish and implement measures, policies and practices on accessible transportation
  • document accessible transportation measures, policies, and practices and make them available to the public in accessible formats, upon request
  • develop a process for the public to provide feedback or file a complaint on accessible transportation and respond in a timely manner
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that accessibility equipment (e.g. ramp, kneeling entrance, etc.) is working
  • communicate publicly on buses in circulation that have accessibility equipment that is not working or out of service. If equipment is out of service, make repairs as soon as possible and take reasonable steps to accommodate a person who otherwise would use the equipment or arrange alternate transportation for the person
  • hold at least one public meeting annually to review measures, policies and practices, and allow members of the public, including persons disabled by barriers, an opportunity to provide feedback
  • offer fare parity for similar transportation services. Conventional, paratransit and alternative service providers must offer eligible riders the same fee
  • clear transit stops of obstacles including snow. If a stop is not accessible, a person must be allowed to deboard the vehicle at a more accessible location
  • municipalities must develop a policy or bylaw for accessible transit stops
  • publicly communicate which transit stops are not accessible
  • meet technical design requirements provided for accessible lifting devices, priority seats, mobility aid spaces, stop requests, steps, grab bars and handrails, floor surfaces, lighting and route signage
  • display emergency preparedness, response procedures and the service provider’s contact information

Training Requirements for Conventional and Paratransit Service Providers

Conventional and Paratransit service providers must provide training to:

  1. front line service providers
  2. policy development makers
  3. purchasing/procure equipment

Trainers must ensure:

  • training content and policies are summarized and documented
  • quick training for employees once duties are assigned
  • ongoing training must be completed every two years or as policies or practices change

Additional Requirements for Conventional Service Providers

Conventional service providers are also required to:

  • not charge people with disabilities a higher fare than people without disabilities, and not charge for storing mobility aids or mobility assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers
  • provide on-board audible and visual stop announcements
  • provide clearly marked priority seating for people with disabilities.
  • develop a public communication strategy to inform the riders about priority seating and mobility aid spaces
  • before preparing a communication strategy, the provider must consult with persons with disabilities or organizations of persons with disabilities in developing it
  • if there is a service disruption, to either the route or schedule, notify the public about the disruption and offer an alternative accessible arrangement

Additional Requirements for Paratransit Service Providers

Paratransit service providers are also required to:

  • develop a process and assessment criteria to determine whether an applicant is eligible for paratransit services
  • document the assessment criteria and make it publicly available in accessible formats
  • providers must review paratransit applications within 14-days of submission. If they cannot meet this deadline, the service provider must offer a temporary pass
  • provide a written explanation if the applicant is found not eligible for paratransit services and include information about how the decision can be appealed
  • not charge a paratransit application or assessment fee
  • not charge for storing mobility aids or mobility assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers
  • make services available to eligible non-Manitoba residents when they visit the province
  • not restrict the number of trips that a person with a disability can request
  • not prioritize trips based on destination or purpose
  • allow for same-day reservations, when possible. If same-day reservations are not possible, accept reservations up to three hours before the end of the service period on the day before the intended travel day
  • offer comparable hours and days of service to conventional service providers within the same municipality
  • inform riders if there is a delay through their preferred contact method, if the service is delayed 30 minutes or more
  • allow passengers to travel with a companion, child or support person and/or service animal

Requirements for Manitoba School Boards and Independent Schools

Manitoba school boards are required to provide integrated accessible school transportation services. If this is not possible, the board would have to arrange alternative accessible transportation.

Independent schools are required to provide integrated accessible school transportation. School buses run by independent schools have to meet minimum accessible design requirements.

Requirements for Vehicles-for-hire

Vehicles-for-hire that operate in a municipality with a vehicle for-hire bylaw are required to:

  • not charge a higher fare for a person disabled by a barrier or charge a fee for the storage or transportation of their mobility aid or a medical device
  • not refuse or deny service because a person is disabled by a barrier or requires reasonable assistance
  • not refuse or deny service to a person using a service animal
  • the owner or operator may deny service if the vehicle specifications make transporting a person disabled by a barrier unsafe

Requirements for Municipalities with Vehicle-for-hire Bylaws

Municipalities that have a vehicle-for-hire bylaw are required to:

Consult with the public at least once every two years to identify the number of accessible vehicles-for-hire that are required in the municipality.

  • inform operators of vehicle-for-hires of the requirements set out in Standards for Mobility Aid Securement Devices and Occupant Restraint Systems and the Related Exemptions Regulation

Under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, municipalities are required to have accessibility plans in place. These plans should also include the following:

  • state the number of accessible vehicles for hire required in the municipality
  • state the number of accessible vehicles for hire that operate in the municipality
  • address a plan to fulfil the service deficit, if applicable

If a municipality offers conventional transportation services, the municipality must develop a policy or bylaw on accessible transit stops.

Read the Full Regulation

Legal disclaimer: The above information is not legal advice. It aims to assist organizations to meet the requirements under Manitoba’s Accessible Transportation Standard. The information provided does not replace the content of the Accessible Transportation Standard Regulation or The Accessibility for Manitobans Act. If there is any conflict between this resource and the regulation or the act, the latter two shall prevail.


Obligated organizations have until January 1, 2027, to comply with accessibility requirements, except for conventional transit operators who have until January 1, 2042 to upgrade existing buses to meet physical accessibility requirements. Any new buses purchased after January 1, 2027, are required to meet accessible design requirements.

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